Monday, June 21, 2010

Fruit, not Gifts

Recently we've been very blessed by the ministry of Rev. Marie Miller (here's her website) who is a Canadian evangelist. She has what she calls "the gift of slap" - if you need to be told ... she's gonna tell ya. It's so refreshing to meet godly Christian men and women who are tired of ritual and rules. These folk just love God and want to serve Him, not because He says to, but because He first loved us SO MUCH that we can't help but want to give Him everything we are, every moment of our lives. She teaches (in part) on how to pass on what's real to the next generation.

We were privileged enough to be part of the worship team at a couple of her meetings just in the last few days. The enemy did everything he could to throw a monkey wrench into the situation. Some of the team traveled with younger children and satan loves to get at us through our kids, especially if we're honoring the Lord. This one 9-year-old boy had a bad toothache the whole time we were there; it started on the road so there was no way to turn back. He survived on anti-inflammatory medications like Advil throughout the trip until the final service late at night.

The gum developed an abscess. It swelled up so much that his whole lower cheek was puffed out. He was in tremendous pain. We all gathered a
round him and prayed - this would have been around 9:15 p.m. His parents decided to take him to a local hospital afterward. Both of them had to be at work early the next day - one of them was starting a new job. We offered to drive the dad home so that he could go to his work at 6 a.m. but he was not sure if his wife could drive in her condition: exhausted, in emotional distress, distracted. So we were on our way - but we kept in touch by text.
Pastor Marie - tired as she was - decided to go with the distraught parents to the hospital. That's fruit. That's not just talking about God making a difference to people, that's actually living it out in real life. I have no doubt that if his mom had needed to stay with him in the hospital while his dad went on to his job, Marie would have offered to drive her and her son back home - a 4-hour drive in the middle of the night - and return to the crusade the next day. But God had other plans.

There was a doctor attending the service and he stayed until the very end when people were starting to load up equipment and instruments into their vehicles. (What are the odds of that, I thought.) He gave some practical advice to the parents so as to help relieve the pain during the wait they would no doubt have in triage.

Only instead of a 4-hour wait as anticipated, they got in within an hour. A doctor drained the abscess (INSTANT relief of the pain), gave a prescription for antibiotics to clear up the remaining infection, and they were on their way by 10:30: in time to make the trip and still get some sleep before having to get up early to go to work. In Canada, with wait times being what they are, and the triage system taking the more serious cases first with sometimes only one doctor on duty, that's a bona fide miracle right there!!

I hear a lot of people say that this person and that person is gifted, or has a lot of talent. But without one's life filled with the fruit of the Spirit, that deep, abiding evidence of time spent in God's arms, the gifts and talents mean nothing. They are so much window-dressing. But what matters is Him - not stuff FOR Him, but Him and Him alone.

He is so worth it.

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